Basic Introduction Aromatherapy Course – Lesson 1
Guidelines for Safe Use of Essential Oils

Always dilute your essential oils for Safe Skin Application. Use a cold processed, unfiltered, or naturally filtered vegetable oil like light coconut oil or jojoba to dilute your essential oils. Stop using essential oils immediately if there is any skin irritation.

When using a pure, undiluted essential oil for inhalation always keep a bottle of carrier oil, such as jojoba, handy. If oil comes in contact with your skin dilute immediately with your carrier oil to avoid discomfort, or possible skin irritation. Keep undiluted oils out of the reach of children!

Keep bottles of essential oils tightly closed and store in a cool location away from light. If stored properly, unclosed essential oils will maintain their potency for years. Except for quicker evaporating citrus oils, conifers and firs (Pine, Spruce, etc.) which have a shorter shelf life because of oxidation which causes them to lose any antiseptic qualities.

Essential oils should be used sparingly. Remember one drop equals one to four cups or more of dried plant matter. Never smell essential oils straight out of the bottle.

AROMA FACT: Did you know that it takes about thirty roses to produce one drop of Rose oil?

SAFE SKIN APPLICATION:

GUIDE FOR STANDARD DILUTION OF ESSENTIAL OILS:

  • Adults ~15 drops EO in 30 mls or 1 ounce carrier oil
  • Children age 18 ~ 10 drops EO in 30 mls or 1 ounce carrier oil
  • Children age 10-18 ~ 6-9 drops EO in 30 mls or 1 ounce carrier oil
  • 5-10 years age ~ 5 drops EO in 30 mls or 1 ounce carrier oil
  • 4 year age, elderly & infirm ~ 4 drops EO in 30 mls or 1 ounce carrier oil
  • 3 year age ~ 3 drops EO in 30 mls or 1 ounce carrier oil
  • 2 year age ~ 2 drops EO in 30 mls or 1 ounce carrier oil
  • Newborn – 2 years age ~ 1 drop in 30 mls or 1 ounce carrier oil

Please use caution in applying essential oils to broken skin as this can cause severe irritation and may lead to an immune system reaction known as “sensitization.”

Keep essential oils out of reach of children. Handle and care for your essentials oils as you would any product for therapeutic use. When using essential oils in dilution with your child if they give any indication the aroma is too strong or there is any skin sensitivity please dilute your essential oils further.

Frequency of Use – Essential Oils are very concentrated! As with herbs the general rule for frequency of use is 3 weeks on and 1 week off or 5 days on and 2 days off. Continual use of an essential oil or aromatic remedy may result in your developing a tolerance to its effect so that it is no longer as effective for promoting the desired therapeutic results.

Direct sunlight and essential oils. Some oils are “photosensitizers” Most common are the cold pressed citrus oils. They should not be used on skin that will be exposed to sunlight, or ultraviolet light for 12-24 hours as this may increase your chance of sunburn and cause uneven pigmentation to the skin (Berloque Dermatitis).

Essential oils rich in menthol (such as peppermint) should not be used on the throat or neck area of children under 30 months of age. Please note: menthol is found in high concentrations of many over the counter pharmaceutical vapor rubs in common use for congestion.

Keep essential oils away from eye area and do not put into ears.

Pregnant women – Generally I recommend exercising caution when using pure essential oils during the first trimester. Though if suffering from severe morning sickness early in pregnancy the smell of peppermint or spearmint oil should be safe to use and may relieve the nausea. Due to its hormonal effect clary sage should be avoided by anyone with a history of early miscarriages. If the skin should become itchy or inflamed during pregnancy please exercise caution as essential oils in massage or the bath might make the condition worse.

Mothers with new born babies should not use, or at least limit the use of pure essential oils simply because it can interfere with a mother’s natural smell and thus interfere with the all important bonding between a mother and child.

Epileptics and people with high blood pressure should consult their health care professional before using essential oils. Avoid hyssop, fennel, and wild tansy oils.

You may wish to test a small area first if you suffer from hay fever or allergies. Skin tests should always be done for very young children and the elderly.

SKIN TEST: Apply pure essential oil in a weak dilution skin test: with a carrier oil on a cotton swab and lightly touch the skin in an area either under your arm, inside of your elbow, back of your knee or wrist. Cover the area with a Band-Aid and leave the area unwashed for twenty-four hours. If there is any reaction such as itching or redness you may wish to temporarily discontinue using the oil and start an internal cleansing program before resuming use of essential oils. Essential oils can react with toxins built up in the body from chemicals in food, water and work environment.

Exercise caution when applying essential oils to skin that has been exposed to cosmetics, personal care products, soaps and cleansers containing synthetic chemicals. Some of them – especially petroleum-based chemicals – can penetrate and remain in the skin and fatty tissues for days or even weeks. Essential oils may react with such chemicals and cause skin irritation, nausea, headaches or other uncomfortable effects.

Especial care should be taken when using “hot” oils! Always use “hot” oils in extremely weak dilution of less than one percent for skin application. Commonly used “hot” essential oils known to have the potential to cause, skin irritation, include: basil (Ocimum basilicum), bergamot (Citrus bergamia), birch (Betula lenta), black pepper (Piper nigrum), cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum), clove (Eugenia aromatica), ginger (Zingiber officinale), expressed (cold pressed from peel) oils of lime, lemon, orange and grapefruit (Citrus limetta, limonum, sinensis and paradisi), lemongrass (Cymbopogon citrates), oregano (Origanum compactum), Scotch pine (Pinus sylvestris), Siberian, balsam or silver fir (Abies siberica, alba, balsamea), thyme (Thymus vulgaris), wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens) and in some cases, tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia), ylang ylang (Cananga odorata) and peppermint (Mentha piperita).

If any of these essential oils is applied in a weak dilution on the skin and a hot, red irritation occurs this is the result of a burn to the skin that requires immediate attention. Always have a vegetable carrier oil like Pure Light Coconut Oil or Jojoba available to apply onto the skin in such cases!

Applying a carrier oil will have an immediate effect of calming the skin irritation. Do not wash or rinse the area with water as this will drive the essential oils further into the skin and increase, not diminish discomfort.

Essential oils are flammable. Please keep them out of the way of fire hazards.

Aromatically yours,
-KG

P.S. My heart and mind are packed full of specific, concrete methods for how to use essential oils that can transform your life forever – steps that will lead you to enjoy all the benefits of healing with essential oils. And I want to share everything I know with you… my life was changed forever when years ago someone introduced me to just a few of the secrets I’ve learned since about healing with essential oils. Now I want to pass that along to you.

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